Best Of

Best Songwriter


Like Madonna or Beyoncé, Mitski Miyawaki needs only her first name as an identifier. In Brooklyn’s indie rock scene, there are few who match her singular style, which takes the interior dialogue of introverts everywhere and explodes it with bright, urgent heat. Her songs hinge on an examination of solitude — fitting, given that her records are decidedly solo affairs — but also blossom into larger explorations of her place in the world, particularly as a biracial woman in an industry dominated by white men. While her first two albums pulled out all the stops (she was still a student at SUNY Purchase with unfettered access to the conservatory’s classical music studies department when she recorded them), it was 2014’s Bury Me at Makeout Creek and this year’s Puberty 2 that, with their visceral-meets-vulnerable lo-fi aesthetic, finally garnered some hard-earned praise from the music press. Puberty 2 in particular is impeccably produced, whether piling on furious feedback or orchestral synths. And at every turn, Mitski tempers what could be overwhelming sincerity with a little smirk and a whole lot of guitar fuzz, building metaphors for failed loves out of slow, sad dogs and forest fires alike.